The Apprentice viewers accuse series of ‘bullying’ candidates in ‘nasty’ interviews episode

The Apprentice has angered viewers with its latest round of dreaded interviews.

Every series, the penultimate episode shows the final five candidates receive a grilling from Lord Sugar’s trusty aides, including Claude Littner and Linda Plant.

By the end of the episode, the candidates had been whittled down to just two.

This particular episode has regularly been considered a fan favourite among viewers – but viewers have complained that this year’s edition was far too harsh.

Joining Littner and Plant were Mike Souter and Baroness Karren Brady, who sits alongside Sugar in the boardroom.

Brady found herself at the centre of one of the episode’s most brutal moments. As Megan Hornby left her interview, which went dreadfully, she referred to Brady by her first name, to which Brady responded: “It’s Baroness Brady to you. My friends call me Karren.”

She also reduced two of the candidates to tears, with Victoria Goulborne and Dani Donovan both breaking down during their interview. However, each candidate made it clear before the interviews that they were most nervous about their interview with the businesswoman as she had tracked their progress all series long.

But it was too much for some viewers, some of whom said they will no longer watch The Apprentice as a result.

Claire Donnachie wrote on Twitter: “The interviewers appear to be bullying the finalists. They are not interviewing. This is the last time I watch The Apprentice.”

Jake Johnstone added: “These interviews are actually just nasty. All for the cutting remarks and quips but some of this is just bullying.”

Megan Hornby during a particularly tough interview with Baroness Karren Brady (BBC)
Megan Hornby during a particularly tough interview with Baroness Karren Brady (BBC)

Saj called the episode “unpleasant”, writing: “This is on the verge of bullying,” while Jo added: “Why are people so rude on #TheApprentice? Take the business plan apart not the person. It’s become bullying, not constructive criticism.”

One viewer, S Zarras, said their “young daughter was horrified at seeing the interview process”, adding: “Young people go through so much anxiety. I never want her to believe that when she goes for her first job interview it’s going to be like this.”

The Independent has contacted the BBC for comment.

By the end of the episode, Sugar fired Victoria, Dani and Megan, leaving Rochelle Raye Anthony and Marnie Swindells as the 2023 finalists.

The Apprentice finale airs on BBC One at 9pm on Thursday (23 March).